Honda NSX | Spotted
Mid-engined, four-wheel drive, three electric motors and crazy fast? It's a cut price Revuelto…
By Matt Dell / Thursday, 5 October 2023 / Loading comments
Often the clever stuff Honda does is only properly recognised years after the cars have been made. Think of the first Insight, which showed how efficient a small, electrified engine could be in a lightweight car – while retaining a manual gearbox. The original NSX influenced sports and supercars years after it was introduced, proving that such novel concepts as visibility and usability need not be at the expense of excitement. Now, more than seven years after it was first driven – and with the final Type S models now being made for selected markets – it’s the turn of the second NSX to play the prescient Honda.
It’s the Revuelto that brought the old hybrid to mind. The latest Lamborghini is a sensational supercar, proving how effective the combination of a combustion engine, three electric motors, four-wheel drive and torque vectoring can be. With a nominal electric range for posing. Remind you of anything? The 2016 NSX’s V6 could never offer the power or sound of a Lamborghini V12, but it too had the trio of motors, a DCT packed with ratios (nine in this case) and a freakish ability – thanks to technology – to feel like a much smaller, lighter sports car than a 1,800kg+ kerbweight would imply. With a decent improvement in MPG and CO2. It probably won’t be much appreciated in Sant’Agata, and it should be remembered that the NSX couldn’t be plugged in, but there are definitely some similarities there.
Much as the more user-friendly supercars followed after the first NSX, so the hybridised ones have come after this one. Cars like the Artura, 296 GTB and Revuelto have undoubtedly moved the game on – and it was obviously preceded by hugely expensive petrol-electric stuff like the P1 – but the NSX’s significance deserves recognition nevertheless.
It was a decent supercar, too, albeit one that faced tough opposition in the form of cars like the Audi R8 V10 and McLaren 570S. The NSX just couldn’t compete on emotional, sensory appeal, even though it was just as capable. An interior that felt far too Honda for a £120k asking price didn’t help its cause. Much as with the original, its innovation was overlooked for the sake of raw thrills. Which is hard to argue with when it comes to buying mid-engined, 200mph dream machines, if still a little sad given Honda proved the validity of a concept now so popular.
There are a few for sale on PH, in the bracket of £100,000-£125,000 that they seem to have rested in for a while. They were never quite special enough to appreciate, yet also sufficiently rare and intriguing that they were never likely to plummet either. With more hybrids out there than ever, they make an interesting alternative to the usual supercar suspects; this one just sneaks in under six figures and benefits from the rare, desirable option of ceramic brakes. It’s also been treated to Quicksilver sports cars, which ought to bring some voice to the 3.5-litre V6. If it can sound anything like an original NSX V6, then that’ll be well worth having.
Of course, those in the fortunate position to be considering a car like this might also be thinking about a McLaren, Porsche or Audi. Plenty of stuff with more prestigious badges, basically, which probably held back the NSX as much as anything. Which is daft, really – such is the way of the world. While still a lot of money, NSXs seemed to have held steady for a while. Don’t expect that to change, either, now it can (almost) be looked on as a (sort of) cut-price Lamborghini Revuelto…
SPECIFICATION | HONDA NSX
Engine: 3,493cc V6 turbocharged with direct-mounted electric motor/generator, 2x front axle motor/generators
Transmission: 9-speed DCT, rear-wheel drive, independently driven front axle
Power (hp): 507@6,500rpm (petrol engine only), 581hp total
Torque (lb ft): 406@2,000-6,000rpm (petrol engine only), 476lb ft total
MPG: 28 (combined)
First registered: 2016
Recorded mileage: 13,000
Price new: £149,950 (before options)
Yours for: £99,849
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